23 September 2014

AUS: Chief of Army’s exercise launched in Brisbane

The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, officially opened the 2014 Chief of Army’s exercise in Brisbane today.

Senior military leaders from the Australian Army, Australian Defence Force and Australian government organisations and academics, will be joined by international military representatives from the Indo-Pacific region over two days to discuss this year’s theme: Modernisation of Land Forces in the Indo-Pacific.

In his opening address, Lieutenant General Morrison stressed the importance of continuous modernisation and engagement in support of land forces within the Joint and Coalition environment.

“This exercise offers a unique opportunity for us to engage in meaningful discussion with our allies, friends and partners about the major strategic issues facing land forces in our region, now and into the future,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.

AUS: Defence Minister visits Iraq and the United Arab Emirates

Senator David Johnston

Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston, is currently visiting Iraq and will then visit the United Arab Emirates. 

“It’s in Australia’s best interests that we stand ready with the world – now in a coalition of more than 40 nations – to help the new Iraqi Government to disrupt and degrade the ISIL death cult and to regain control over its own country,” Senator Johnston said.

In Baghdad, Senator Johnston met with Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, and other senior government officials. 

Senator Johnston will also meet senior US officials to discuss the situation in Iraq and reaffirm Australia’s commitment to disrupt and degrade the ISIL death cult. 

In the UAE, where Australian Defence Force personnel have been pre-deployed, Senator Johnston will meet with them at the Al Minhad Air Base.  He will also meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and other national security officials, to discuss the situation in Iraq and regional states’ support to efforts to counter ISIL.

AUS: Counter improvised explosive device (IED) capability to be expanded

Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston today announced the First Pass approval of the LAND 154 Phase 2 Joint Counter Improvised Explosive Device program, including $19.5 million for a range of capability development activities, trials, risk reduction activities and industry solicitation.

“Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) have emerged as the weapon-of-choice against Australian forces deployed in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the effectiveness of IEDs has more recently been demonstrated in Mali and Syria,” Senator Johnston said.

“The use of IEDs continues to increase globally and they are being employed by an expanding range of groups, including insurgents, terrorists and by conventional and unconventional military forces.”

Senator Johnston said LAND 154 Phase 2 will be the next major step in the development of an Australian Counter IED capability.

AUS: Future Defence technologies on show at Land Forces event in Brisbane

A range of innovative technologies that have been developed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) are being showcased in Brisbane this week at Land Forces 2014.

The event and the accompanying Future Land Force conference has attracted over 500 delegates from around the world to discuss how science and technology can transform the land force of the future.

“This conference is an opportunity for defence and industry professionals to discuss and showcase their innovative capabilities that address the dynamic environment in which future land forces will need to fight,” Mr Robert said.

Defence and subject matter experts from Australia, USA, UK, Canada, Singapore and Norway will speak on future challenges including power and energy, next generation land vehicles, autonomous systems, future protection for the land force and unleashing the human potential of warfighters.

AUS: Air Force aircraft and personnel depart for the Middle East

RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet (File Photo)

The main contingent of Royal Australian Air Force personnel and aircraft has departed for the Middle East from RAAF Bases Amberley and Williamtown.

The aircraft included F/A-18F Super Hornets, a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport and an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.

Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, AO, said he was proud of the preparation work conducted by all Air Force personnel in the lead-up to the deployment.

“Today marked the departure of the main Air Force contingent deploying to the Middle East,” said Air Marshal Brown.

“The large amount of preparation conducted to deploy such a potent and capable force in a relatively short time is testament to the professionalism and skill of our Air Force.”

Following the Government’s decision to prepare to contribute to international led efforts to disrupt and degrade ISIL, the Australian Defence Force is deploying approximately 600 ADF personnel to the Middle East where they will prepare to respond to future Government decisions regarding Iraq.

Defence imagery is available HERE.

Rockwell Collins at Land Forces 2014 (Australia)

Perimeter security, augmented reality and security for smart phones on display

BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia (Sept. 23, 2014) – Rockwell Collins, provider of FireStorm™ precision targeting systems to the Australian Defence Force, will showcase several new products, including facility perimeter security, an augmented reality headset, and security for military smart phones, at the Land Forces 2014 show in Brisbane, Australia, from Sept. 22-25, 2014. 

Attendees are invited to stop by Stand 1K9 to see why Rockwell Collins is an industry leader in providing tailored solutions that provide the right information at the right time, enabling defence customers to make critical decisions. 

Industry: BAE Systems and Patria to pursue Land 400 opportunity

Patria AMV (Wiki Info - Image: Wiki Commons)

Adelaide, Australia: BAE Systems and Patria have today announced a teaming agreement to pursue a major Australian combat vehicle program.

The two companies will work together to secure the anticipated Land 400 Phase 2 Defence program for the acquisition and support of a Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), with BAE Systems as prime contractor.

Patria is the market leader of modern 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicles and is an ideal partner for BAE Systems. The team will work together to deliver a Patria 8x8 Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) solution to meet the needs of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Markku Bollmann, Senior Vice President, Land business unit, says, “Patria AMV combines high payload capacity and excellent mobility with the latest technology. The versatility of the modular design enables it to be tailored and continually developed to meet the needs of modern defence forces around the world.

“Patria AMV is a highly capable vehicle with strong sales track-record and in use by seven different nations in wide range of environments. The vehicle is combat-proven in the real mission environment.”

Graeme Bent, BAE Systems Australia’s Director – Land & Integrated Systems, says, “We make a strong team. Patria has a proven track record of technology transfer to user nations, and BAE Systems has a long and proud history of building and supporting both tracked and wheeled military vehicles, here and overseas. Continued local support will enable the ADF to draw upon an established manufacturing base and our global network.” 

The two companies will now evolve their solution to the Commonwealth’s CRV requirement before providing additional information around their tender solution.

News Story: Australia’s Jindalee Radar System Gets Performance Boost

Bradley Perrett 

The Jindalee over-the-horizon radars are substantially improved

Australia has to choose its defense technology programs carefully. While the country expects to field advanced armed forces, with a population of 24 million it lacks the money and depth of engineering expertise for much domestic development.

But for decades Australia has tirelessly pursued one particularly difficult program: Jindalee, an over-the-horizon radar system that answers the national problem of how to economically monitor the vast maritime approaches of a continent. 

With little publicity, the defense department and its contractors have completed a major upgrade of Jindalee, whose three enormous antenna installations, ranged across the Outback, bounce high-frequency radio beams off the ionosphere to observe aircraft and ships at least 3,000 km (1,900 mi.) away, perhaps as far as the South China Sea. The upgrade has increased the speed, sensitivity and precision of the sensors, and knitted them into the national command and control system of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

Read the full story at Aviation Week

Editorial: China and Iran's Historic Naval Exercise

By Ankit Panda

China and Iran began a four-day naval exercise on Monday, focusing on anti-piracy and rescue operations.

For the first time ever, ships from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAN) docked at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Beijing’s sent two ships to Iran — a frigate and a missile destroyer — to participate in four days of joint naval exercises with the Iranian navy. The Changchun, a Type 052C Luyang II Chinese guided-missile destroyer and the Changzhou, a Type 054A Jiangkai II frigate, are in Iran for a “friendly visit.” The Changchun and Changzhou are PLAN ships that patrol the Gulf of Aden, securing shipping lanes in the piracy-prone region. The Iranian media marked China’s stop at the Iranian port as a reciprocal visit following an Iranian flotilla’s trip to the Chinese port of Zhangjiagang last year.
On Monday, Iranian naval commander Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari announced the start of planned naval exercises and wargames between the Chinese and Iranian navies. The exercise, codenamed “Velayat 3,” will take place in Iranian territorial waters and international waters off the southern coast of Iran. “The voyage of the Chinese Army’s fleet of warships for the first time in Persian Gulf waters is aimed at joint preparation of Iran and China for establishing peace, stability, tranquility, and multilateral and mutual cooperation,” notes Adm. Amir Hossein Azad, commander of Iran’s First Naval Zone. 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: Why Spying on China Isn’t Enough

By Shannon Tiezzi

The Director of Intelligence on the Joint Chiefs of Staff sees a “data glut but an information deficit” on China.

The military’s top intelligence officer said that spying on China isn’t enough in and of itself. Rather, the U.S. needs to do more to cultivate analysts with a deep understanding of Chinese strategy and goals.
Rear Admiral Paul Becker, the Director for Intelligence on the Joints Chiefs of Staff, made the remarks during the inaugural Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington DC last week. According to Breaking DefenseBecker said that U.S. has a “data glut but an information deficit” when it comes to China.  Specifically, Becker pointed to a lack of understanding regarding China’s “interim objectives” and “main campaigns.” “We need to understand their strategy better,” he said.
It’s not the first time Becker has made similar comments. Speaking at a roundtable back in February, Becker noted that intelligence gathering “involves not just the ability to collect and transfer large amounts of data regarding military, commercial, social and economic networks, but a deep understanding of a potential adversary’s’ strategies, mindsets and intent.” He cautioned that a firm grasp of strategic goals is essential for shaping policy: “If one doesn’t understand a potential adversary’s strategy, then one might think the adversary is conducting random acts. And to counter those random acts, we would ourselves conduct random responses.”
When it comes to understanding China, Becker is not impressed with the U.S. intelligence community. He questioned how many analysts really understood China, whether on a grand strategic level (“What are Chinese core interests?”) or dealing with specifics (Why is China’s nine-dash line “not solid”?). Becker’s main point is that, without this greater understanding of strategic goals and calculations, hard intelligence on capabilities is of little use. In a March interview with KMI Media Group, Becker further explained that increasing U.S. understanding of China could be the key to avoiding a conflict altogether. “One way we can avoid drifting toward conflict is through a deep understanding of China’s grand strategy, mindset, intent and the physical environment of their nation and its periphery,” Becker said. 

Read the full story at The Diplomat